A/N: OMG. I decided to update after all. I mean I can't just leave you guys hanging? Not when you've been reviewing so fervently! Well, this is really the last chapter I am going to leave you with. Then I'm really going on hiatus until say, the end of the year? But My Answer hasn't ended yet! Hopefully, this chapter ties up a few more losoe ends. Enjoy!
Chapter 6: My Answer
He had his answer.
It was three in the morning. And he was ready. He was fully dressed in his work clothes. He was going out.
He strode to Chelsea's bed. She was asleep, one hand on her flat stomach. He wondered when he would be able to see the first signs of his child.
He clasped his own gloved hand over hers. She felt so warm. Vaughn's gaze softened. Tenderly, he slid his hand over her stomach, and found that it wasn't so flat after all. Right in the middle, there was a tiny little bump.
He couldn't help smiling.
His hand lay on the shallow bump, relishing the warmth. It gave him courage. It would be for them. Chelsea, the child, and him. It would be for their future.
Vaughn straightened. And he walked out the door.
The old man was wearing striped, silk pyjamas when he answered the door.
He had initially opened his mouth to yell at him for waking him at such an ungodly hour, but when he saw who it was; he immediately broke into a huge smile.
His entire demeanour changed. He became welcoming, warm and fatherly, praising Vaughn for being so prompt in reporting his decision. Vaughn thought it was absolutely revolting and he began hating the man even more.
Vaughn found himself seated in the man's suite, and staring into a pair of ominous, rheumy eyes.
Vaughn shifted himself in the too-soft armchair he was supposed to be 'ensconced' in. He didn't like it. Real furniture should be like the tough, wooden armchair at home, not some poofy sofa for pansies.
"Well Vaughn…boy, what do you say?"
"Don't call me that."
"Call you what?" the old man smiled. Vaugh could sense a hint of irritation.
"Boy. Don't keep calling me that."
"Oh my, of course. My mistake…"
There was an awkward pause, and Vaughn adjusted himself in his squashy chair. Fed up, he decided to stand up.
"Where are you going?" the old man asked in alarm.
"No where. I can't stand the chair, that's all."
"I see. Well, boy—Vaughn are you ready to give me your answer?"
"My answer huh?"
For Ma. For Chelsea. For that kid. For us. For my family. But…would it be worth it?
The old man would teach him the ways of the corporate businesses. He wouldn't be an animal dealer anymore. He would become a businessman. He didn't like that prospect. But it was for the people he loved most.
"Yes. I'll do it."
The old man made a wheezing noise and clutched his chest, his eyeballs rolling up. The man was smiling, grinning in pure ecstasy, revealing rows of yellowing dentures.
He composed himself, made himself a glass of water and sat down once again, all the while smiling.
Vaughn did not reply. He had a very strange feeling in the pit of his stomach. Foreboding, in other words. He wondered what he had just gotten himself into.
He watched the old man get up and rummage in some of his drawers. He returned with a sheet of paper and a pen. He set the paper carefully on the glass table, ironing it with his hand meticulously several times.
The paper had many words printed on it.
Vaughn leaned down to read. Damn, he was never good with reading and words and all that. He had Chelsea and Julia for that.
"Transferral…of…assets?" he read aloud.
"Yes Vaughn, I am going to transfer all my assets to your name. From the moment you sign this contract, you will be the rightful owner of my entire company," his grandfather explained, sounding very satisfied, rather like a cat which had finished a particularly succulent meal.
"R-really?" Vaughn was rather overwhelmed. An entire company!
"But of course, there are some conditions."
"What kind of conditions?" Vaughn raised an eyebrow.
"Very minor ones. They won't affect your life. You won't even know they're there. That kind of conditions," the man smiled. Vaughn thought he had started looking rather nervous.
Vaughn took the contract and stared at it. He looked uneasily up at the man.
"What if I sign and I don't comply?"
"You'll have the law after you," the old man said.
Vaughn flinched. All parties must comply in accordance…shall be rendered invalid and/or illegal under breach of terms…
What the hell is that supposed to mean?!
Vaughn swallowed and pretended that he understood what he was reading.
"Can I take this home to discuss with my wife?"
"You already gave me your answer didn't you? What difference will it make? I say, sign it here."
Vaughn nodded slowly. He tried to scrape the document once more. Suitable marital union…what did that mean? And this one: …arranged living quarters in the convenient vicinity of the corporation…
Did it mean they had to move? Vaughn wasn't sure.
He couldn't let the old man think he was illiterate! He couldn't let the old man have a reason to belittle him.
He lifted the pen in his hand and focused himself on the dotted line under the sea of words.
He could practically see the old man on the edge of his seat, sucking in air as he watched him.
The pen nib hovered precariously over the line. My answer. I said yes. I should just go ahead. I'm his grandson…he wouldn't do anything bad.
"Ma? Didn't Gramps love you? How come he never comes to see you?"
"Your grandfather is a very busy man. He doesn't have the time."
"Is he a very rich man? What kind of rancher is he?"
Ma would laugh. And tears would gather in her eyes. I always thought she was crying because she was laughing. But now I know, it was because of something entirely different.
"He isn't a rancher, sweet. He's a businessman."
"Are businessmen very rich?"
"Some; your grandfather is."
"What about Pa? Was Pa rich?"
"No he wasn't. But he was very happy."
I always noticed how Ma's voice would lower and how she would look in the other direction whenever I asked her about Pa.
"What's being rich like Ma?"
"Being rich isn't a good thing. It makes you greedy and self-absorbed. That's why your Pa wasn't rich like your grandfather. He wanted to be happy."
And painfully slowly, Vaughn began to sign.
Once again, I didn't bother to do a spell check, grammar check or any kind of check for that matter. I wrote this at 11.19 pm and you people are going to like it. Bye for now! Hope you enjoyed the chapter. (If you people actually review, I might update sooner. Really! I'm like that XD but rest assured, I'm going to finish this fic. I SWEAR.) And can you actually believe I dug up my Dad's old copy of Contract Law for this? Geez.